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COVID and Exercise: What They Are Not Telling You

Updated: Oct 18

New study shows exercise cuts your risk of dying from Covid-19 by 2.5x.


This is something you need to know… and it’s NOT something that the news is actively covering or that you’ll hear a lot about.


A new study of 48,440 Covid patients in California shows that the people who were consistently inactive during the 2 years before the pandemic were more likely to:

  1. Be hospitalized

  2. Admitted to intensive care units

  3. Or, die (compared to patients who regularly met physical activity guidelines).

IN FACT: besides age, pregnancy, and having an organ transplant, being sedentary was linked to the HIGHEST chance of being hospitalized!


The study was published in the British Journal of Sports


Medicine. (You can read the study here: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2021/04/07/bjsports-2021-104080)


The researchers created three categories:

  • Working out 150 minutes or more a week (the amount recommended in US guidelines)

  • Getting some activity (11-149 minutes a week, or working out but not being consistent)

  • Being consistently inactive (0-10 minutes a week)

Here’s what they discovered:


People who were INACTIVE (not exercising at all):

  • Had 1.73 times HIGHER odds of ending up in the ICU

  • Had 2.49 times HIGHER risk of dying

compared to those who met US activity guidelines.


Not only that... but people who got SOME EXERCISE but didn’t meet guidelines consistently:

  • Had 1.58 times HIGHER odds ending up in the ICU,

  • And had 1.88 times greater odds of death

than regular exercisers.


QUESTION: So according to this study, what’s one thing you can do to put yourself in the best possible position for COVID?


ANSWER: Exercise just 150 minutes per week. Attending 3 classes per week pretty much covers that!


Plus, it has the added benefit of turning you into a complete badass!


In another study, South Korean researchers found that working out REDUCES your risk of getting Covid-19.


Here’s a direct link to the study: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/early/2021/07/21/bjsports-2021-104203


The study evaluated 76,395 people that had been tested for Covid AND had recently completed a national health examination (including an assessment for physical activity.)


What they found:


Adults who worked out (cardio + strength training):


#1: Had a LOWER risk of Covid-19 infection (2.6% vs. 3.1%)

👉 This means you are LESS likely to get infected with the virus if you exercise (according to the study).


#2: Had a LOWER risk of Severe Covid-19 (0.35% vs 0.66%)

👉 This means there’s nearly 2X MORE risk of ending up with severe COVID if you don’t exercise (according to the study).


#3: Had a LOWER risk of Covid-19-related death (0.02% vs 0.08%)

👉 This means there’s nearly 4x MORE risk of dying a COVID-related death if you don’t exercise (according to the study).


… Compared to those who didn’t meet South Korean exercise guidelines. (150 minutes a week and 2 strength-training sessions.)


The South Korean researchers said regular exercise helps:


✅ Cut the risk of infection

✅ Boost the immune system, and

✅ Reduce disease-causing inflammation in the body.


The study also noted that the World Health Organization recommends people be as active as possible AND encourages everyone to engage in regular aerobic physical activity, as well as bone and muscle-strengthening activity.


Why we don't see this on billboards as a major campaign boggles my mind entirely!


Regardless, if your training routine has gone by the wayside through the shutdowns, it's never too late to restart! And get your friends and family on board, too… so we can ALL be healthier, together!


If you need help getting started, please reach out to us at (416) 627-8387 where we’ll help you map out a plan that works for YOU and where you’re at in your life.


Doing what you can to be PROACTIVE is one of the best things you can do for yourself and your loved ones.